REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 19-22

 

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report)
Lionel Richie (Pariah)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Ted Nugent (Private Parts)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Jack Black (King Kong)
Kelsey Grammer (X-men: The Last Stand)
John Mahoney (Frasier)
David Hyde Pierce (Hellboy)
Jon Stewart (The Faculty)
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (Spy Hard)
Kurt Loder (Book of Shadows)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Beverly D’Angelo (American History X)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
John C. Reilly (Step Brothers)
Glenn Close (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2)
Lance Armstrong (The Armstrong Lie)
Drew Carey (Jack and Jill)
Robert Forster (Heroes)
Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Scott Thompson (Hannibal)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Promise)
Emily Blunt (The Girl On the Train)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)
Colm Meaney (Get Him To The Greek)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Jodie Foster (The Silence of The Lambs)
Seth Rogen (Knocked Up)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
Neve Campbell (Scream)
Kim Cattrall (Big Trouble In Little China)
Eartha Kitt (60s Batman)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Angela Bassett (Alias)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Bruno)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Jane Kaczmarek (Pleasentville)
Eddie Izzard (Hannibal)
Simon Cowell (Scary Movie 3)
Ellen DeGeneres (EDtv)
Jermaine Clement (Legion)
Stephen Hawkings (The Big Bang Theory)
Lea Michele (Scream Queens)
Corey Monteith (Glee)
Amber Riley (The Wiz Live)
Hugh Laurie (Tomorrowland)
Daniel Radcliffe (Horns)
Rachel Weisz (Runawey Jury)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Katy Perry (The Smurfs)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Jon Hamm (Mad M
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Kristen Wiig (Paul)
Garry Marshall (Life After Beth)
Halle Berry (X-Men)
J.B. Smoove (Date Night)
Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town)
Russell Brand (Get Him To the Greek)
Tommy Chong (Evil Bong)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Martin Landau (Ed Wood)
Ricky Jay (Flashforward)
Penn & Teller (Sabrina: TTW)
Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers)

19

The season has some more great episodes, that shows the Simpsons is still a huge juggernaut of a show.

SEASON 19 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

19.1) HE LOVES TO FLY AND HE D’OHS

After Homer saves Mr. Burns from drowning, Mr. Burns rewards him with a dinner and a flight on his corporate jet, making Homer disappointed that he will never be rich or successful enough to enjoy the high life.19.2) THE HOMER OF SEVILLE

A freak accident turns Homer into an opera singer (which can only be achieved if he lies down) and he becomes the toast of Springfield’s cultural elite — and the target of a crazed, motorcycle-riding female fan who blackmails him into becoming his manager.19.3) MIDNIGHT TOWBOY

Homer befriends a tow-truck driver named Louie, who shows Homer what it is like to tow vehicles for a living. Meanwhile, Marge puts Maggie in a special school to help babies become independent, but when the lessons work too well, Marge finds herself tearfully bonding with a sack of potatoes.19.4) I DON’T WANNA WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Marge breaks her promise to visit a disturbed bank robber in prison, and ends up getting kidnapped by him19.7) HUSBANDS AND KNIVES

The Comic Book Guy’s Android Dungeon faces competition with “Coolsville Comics ‘n Toys,” a new comic book store owned by a nicer, more personable store owner named Milo. Meanwhile, Marge creates a gym for the average woman, and a self-conscious Homer resorts to plastic surgery after being told that Marge’s success will lead to her divorcing Homer and getting a younger, handsomer trophy husband.19.8) FUNERAL FOR A FIEND

A night at a rib restaurant turns into yet another plot for Sideshow Bob to kill The Simpson family, but the whole scheme turns into a family affair when Bart kills his mortal enemy by throwing away his nitroglycerine (which Sideshow Bob needs for his heart) and the rest of the Terwiligers go after Bart for killing Bob.19.10) E PLURIBUS WIGGUM

Thanks to Homer’s latest blunder (blowing up every fast-food restaurant in the city), Springfield moves up election day and becomes the first city in the nation to hold primary elections. However, all the media attention and similar-sounding politicians wear on the townspeople’s nerves, so they elect Ralph Wiggum to be the 2008 Presidential candidate as a joke — until Ralph reveals that he wants to be President, so he can bring peace in these divided times.19.13) THE DEBARTED

Bart begins to suspect a rat when all of his pranks backfire — and might have something to do with his new friend, Donny. Meanwhile, Homer grows attached to his rental car, which he gets to drive for a week while his old car gets repaired.Dial_N_for_Nerder19.14) DIAL “N” FOR NERDER

Bart and Lisa’s prank on Martin Prince goes too far and they worry that they may be implicated in his death by the police (and Nelson, who becomes an amateur sleuth). Meanwhile, Marge calls upon the producer of a reality show that specializes in tracking down cheating couples when she begins to suspect that Homer may be cheating…on his diet.19.15) SMOKE ON THE DAUGHTER

Lisa is accepted into a ballet school run by jazz dancer Chazz Busby, and discovers that her dancing improves whenever she is around cigarette smoke. Meanwhile, Homer shows Bart his secret beef jerky project, which has been taken over by raccoonspapa_dont_leach19.16) PAPA DON’T LEECH

When Mayor Quimby launches a campaign to shake down anyone who has not paid taxes in years, Lurleen Lumpkin (the country singer who tried to seduce Homer from the season three episode “Colonel Homer”) hides out at the Simpson house, which does not sit well with Marge (who still cannot forgive her for almost stealing her husband).19.17) APOCALYPSE COW

Bart joins the 4-H Club and befriends a cow named Lou, but when Lou is set to be sent to slaughter, Bart gives Lou to a country girl named Mary — whom he now must marry after finding out that giving a cow to a country girl is considered a marriage proposal in hillbilly tradition.19.19) MONA LEAVES-A

Mona Simpson, Homer’s ’60s radical mother, returns, vowing that her days of protesting are over, but Homer will not accept. Things get worse when Mona dies and her last wishes are to have her ashes spread over the mountains, which turns out to be a plot in stopping a nuclear disaster.

20

Another series of everyone’s favourite family, another collection of cracking episodes, and with this being the 20th anniversary season there are some classic episodes that show just why the series had staying power.  

SEASON 20 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

20.1) SEX, PIES AND IDIOT SCRAPES

After serving a jail sentence for starting a brawl at an alcohol-free St. Patrick’s Day parade, Homer becomes a bounty hunter and tags Flanders along for the ride. Meanwhile, an Irish man gives Marge a job at his bakery, which Marge soon discovers specializes in sexually suggestive pastries.20.2) DOUBLE, DOUBLE BOY IN TROUBLE

Bart meets Simon Woosterfield, a boy who looks exactly like him and is a member of Springfield’s richest family. As a prank, the two decide to switch places, but the joke is on Bart when he discovers that Simon is being targeted for murder by his own siblings.20.6) HOMER AND LISA EXCHANGE CROSS WORDS

Lisa becomes obsessed with crossword puzzles and enters a contest, where Homer places bets against his daughter in order to earn money lost from his couples break-up business.20.7) MYPODS AND BROOMSTICKS

Bart makes friends with a Muslim boy named Bashir and his family, but Homer fears the family may be terrorists because of their religion. Meanwhile, Lisa is given a MyPod and becomes addicted to downloading songs on it20.9) LISA THE DRAMA QUEEN

Lisa meets a new girl named Juliet and helps her write stories about a fantasy world called Equalia, but spending too much time with Juliet (and the story) begins to warp Lisa’s sense of reality.20.10) TAKE MY LIFE PLEASE

After an old high school rival named Vance is honored at on the Springfield Wall of Fame, Homer becomes depressed when he discovers that Principal Dondelinger rigged the student council election so Vance would win. While at an Italian restaurant, a mysterious chef shows Homer how his life would have turned out had he actually won.20.11) HOW THE TEST WAS WON

Bart gets a perfect score on Springfield Elementary’s latest standardized test, leaving Lisa worried that Bart may be smarter than she when Bart is rewarded with a field trip — that turns out to be an elaborate trick into getting the low-testing students (and Principal Skinner) out of the way. Meanwhile, Homer forgets to mail off his insurance payment and must keep himself and the house accident-free until his coverage can be reinstated at 3:00pm.20.12) NO LOAN AGAIN, NATURALLY

The Simpsons get into a mortgage crisis of their own when Homer cannot afford to pay off the money he borrows from his home equity loan (so he can finane his extravagant Mardi Gras parties) and the Simpsons sell their home to Ned Flanders.20.13) GONE MAGGIE GONE

Homer leaves Maggie on the doorstep of a convent, setting off a Da Vinci Code-style chain of events involving Freemasons and the hunt for a rare jewel. Meanwhile, Marge goes blind after viewing an eclipse without an eclipse shoe box viewer and Homer tries to cover up Maggie’s disappearance.20.15) WEDDING FOR DISASTER

When Reverend Lovejoy reveals to Homer and Marge that they are not legally married, Homer and Marge decide to have another wedding to legitimize their union once and for all. But when Marge begins acting like a bridezilla and Homer mysteriously disappears, it is up to Bart and Lisa to save the day.20.16) EENY TEENY MAYA MOE

Moe once again searches for love and falls for a woman named Maya over the Internet. However, when Moe meets Maya face-to-face, he discovers it is more like face-to-knee, as Maya is only three feet tall. Meanwhile, Maggie is put in a playground full of hostile babies.

20.17) THE GOOD, THE SAD AND THE DRUGLY

Bart sets up Milhouse to take the fall for a prank the two of them pulled, and the duo’s friendship becomes strained when Bart falls for a charitable girl named Jenny. Meanwhile, Lisa becomes insane and depressed after reading Internet articles predicting that Springfield will be a barren wasteland in fifty years, and is given anti-depressants that turn her into a mindless zombie.20.19) WAVERLY HILLS, 9-0-2-1-D’OH

While desperately searching for a bathroom during her morning jog, Marge discovers how low-rent Springfield Elementary School really is and moves Bart and Lisa to Waverly Hills Elementary by having Homer rent an apartment there so the city inspector of Waverly Hills does not get suspicious. Meanwhile, Bart helps Lisa become popular by telling others that Lisa is friends with a teenage pop star named Alaska Nebraska.20.21) COMING TO HOMERICA

The citizens of Ogdenville swarm into Springfield in search of work after their local economy plummets, but when the Ogdenvillians’ Norwegian culture begins rubbing off on others, Mayor Quimby hires citizens to act as border patrol.21The argument will rage long after any Simpson season has aired  about when exactly America’s finest television animated export actually peaked. Some arguably, with genuine gusto. But even after 21 seasons the show still was having an impact and still being very successful.

SEASON 21 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

21.1) HOMER THE WHOPPER

Comic Book Guy creates a new superhero called Everyman who takes powers from other superheroes. Homer is cast as the lead in the film adaptation. To get Homer into shape, the movie studio hires a celebrity fitness trainer, Lyle McCarthy to help him. Homer gets into great shape but his life falls apart when his fitness trainer quits and the movie bombs at the box office.21.2) BART GETS A Z

Mrs. Krabappel is fired for drinking alcohol on the job (thanks to kids in her class spiking her coffee as revenge for confiscating their cell phones and BlackBerrys) and replaced with a hip, young teacher named Zachary Vaughn.21.3) THE GREAT WIFE HOPE

When the men and boys of Springfield become obsessed with Ultimate Fighting, Marge leads a protest against it when she catches Bart fighting in school — and ends up fighting the head of the Ultimate Fighting syndicate in order to have it banned.21.5) THE DEVIL WEARS NADA

Marge becomes a sex symbol after pin-up pictures of her appear on a calendar, which embarrasses Bart and stirs lust in every man in Springfield — including Ned Flanders. Meanwhile, Carl Carlson is chosen as the Springfield Nuclear Plant’s newest supervisor, and Homer gets hired as Carl’s assistant.21.6) PRANK AND GREENS

Bart tracks down an immature man named Andy Hamilton who was once hailed Springfield Elementary’s best prankster, and realizes the man who was once Springfield Elementary’s best prankster has no direction in his life. Meanwhile, Marge is chastised by the other mothers in her social circle for not serving healthy snacks.21.7) REDNECKS AND BROOMSTICKS

Lisa befriends three practicing Wiccans and must save them from being persecuted for their beliefs. Meanwhile, Homer starts hanging out with Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel after discovering that Cletus and his friends make moonshine.21.10) ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPRINGFIELD

The Krusty the Clown Show is once again retooled. This time, in a bid to get girls to watch the show, a princess character named Penelope is hired as Krusty’s latest sidekick, whom Krusty hates at first — until Princess Penelope reveals that she is Krusty’s biggest fan. Meanwhile, a corporate recruiter persuades Homer, Lenny, and Carl to work for a nuclear plant in Capital City, after Mr. Burns announces a moratorium on free doughnuts due to budget cuts.21.12) BOY MEETS CURL

The Simpsons head to the 2010 Winter Olympics where Marge and Homer compete as part of a mixed curling team and Lisa becomes addicted to collecting Olympic pins.21.15) STEALING FIRST BASE

When Mrs. Krabappel takes an extended absence her students join with the other fourth grade class where Bart falls for a girl named Nikki, who alternates between loving him and hating him. The two are seen kissing which leads to a public display of affection ban in the school. Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama teaches Lisa that there is no shame in being an overachieving girl, and Nelson teaches a blind boy the art of being a schoolyard bully.21.17) AMERICAN HISTORY X-CELLENT

Smithers takes over the nuclear plant after Mr. Burns is put in jail for stealing valuable art — and starts acting like his boss when Homer and his friends begin taking advantage of his kindness.21.20) TO SURVEIL WITH LOVE

Radiation seeps out of Homer’s gym bag after a bomb squad blows it up and Springfield officials decide to suspend all civil liberties. Meanwhile, Lisa dyes her hair brown after being mocked for not conforming to the stereotype of the “dumb blonde.”21.21) MOE LETTER BLUES

Homer, Reverend Lovejoy and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon receive a letter from Moe that states he will steal one of their wives. The three get together and try to remember intimate moments between Moe and their wives.21.22) THE BOB NEXT DOOR

Bart becomes convinced that their new neighbor is Sideshow Bob in disguise, but Marge does not believe him and personally takes Bart to the Springfield Maximum Security Prison to prove it.21.23) JUDGE ME TENDER

Moe discovers his talent for judging in competitions and is invited to appear on the show American Idol. Meanwhile, Homer drives Marge crazy when he starts spending too much time at home, and takes up golf as a hobby.

22Very few shows have the staying Power as the Simpsons, evenfor the casual viewer there is still plenty to love.

SEASON 22 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

22.1) ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MUSICAL

Lisa attends a performing arts camp and is inspired to “embrace her creative side” by her counselors and fellow campers. When she returns, Lisa fails to readjust to her mundane life and attempts to recapture her “inner hipster”.22.3) MONEYBART

Lisa coaches Bart’s Little League baseball team to a record winning streak by putting her book smarts in statistics and probability into play. But when Bart questions Lisa’s coaching tactics and confronts her for taking the fun out of baseball, Lisa benches him from the championship game.22.5) LISA SIMPSON, THIS ISN’T YOUR LIFE

When Lisa finds out that Marge used to be as smart as Lisa before she slacked off, Lisa decides to buckle down (including sacrificing her love of arts and music) and not make the same mistake her mother did. Meanwhile, Bart publicly humiliates Nelson and becomes the school’s new bully.22.6) THE FULL MONTY

Mr. Burns is branded a social pariah after buying vaccinations created for a fictitious illness cooked up by the media and ends up as The Simpsons’ latest houseguest after a suicide attempt.22.9) DONNIE FATSO

An FBI agent and Homer (who’s trying to work off his criminal charge for bribery) infiltrate Fat Tony’s mob, and meet Fat Tony’s cousin, Fit Tony.22.10) MOMS I’D LIKE TO FORGET

After Bart discovers a boy with a similar scar on his arm, Marge reveals that she was a part of a group called “The Cool Moms,” who used to set up playdates with their children and the two decide to reunite with their old friends.22.11) FLAMING MOE

Moe Szyslak and Waylon Smithers turn Moe’s tavern into an ultra-trendy gay bar after Smithers is rejected from Mr. Burns’s will and Moe’s business is (once again) in a slump. Meanwhile, Principal Skinner tries to date the substitute music teacher and sets her daughter up with Bart22.13) THE BLUE AND THE GRAY

Moe hires Homer to be his wingman so he can score a date, but Homer ends up being the babe magnet. Meanwhile, Marge is shocked to find that her hairdresser has been dyeing her hair blue all these years (despite that the season five episode “Secrets to a Successful Marriage” revealed that Marge “…has been as gray as a mule since she was 17” and that she regularly dyes her hair herself rather than visit a salon) and decides to go gray for a new, mature look.22.14) ANGRY DAD: THE MOVIE

Bart and Homer revisit their web series “Angry Dad” (from season 13’s “I Am Furious Yellow”) and turn it into an animated short that quickly gains an Oscar nomination, but Bart does not want Homer to get all the glory, so he sends his father away when the Simpsons go (back) to Hollywood.22.16) A MIDSUMMERS NICE DREAM

1970s stoner comedians Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin decide to break up after each of them get a new comedy partner — Homer pairs up with Cheech to become “Cheech and Chunk” while Principal Skinner joins Chong to become “Teach and Chong.” Meanwhile, Marge stages an intervention for The Crazy Cat Lady after noticing that she’s hoarding animals — which turns Marge into a hoarder herself.22.17) LOVE IS A MANY STRANGLED THING

Homer is sent to parenting therapy after tickling Bart until he wets his pants during a football game, but when the therapist is shocked to hear that Homer regularly physically abuses Bart, he puts Homer through shock treatment by having Kareem Abdul-Jabbar strangle him to make Homer feel as weak and helpless as Bart.22.19) THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF FAT TONY

Fat Tony and Selma get married, prompting Marge to worry about her sister’s safety. Meanwhile, Lisa uses Bart to find truffles.22.22) THE NED-LIEST CATCH

Ned Flanders begins dating Mrs. Krabappel after saving her from a prank gone bad — until Flanders realizes that Mrs. Krabappel has left a trail of tears behind her from the men she dated before (including Aerosmith drummer, Joey Kramer).These seasons still have comedy gold in them and still shows why the Simpsons are still going strong.

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REVIEW: ALI G INDAHOUSE

CAST

Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Kellie Bright (Kinky Boots)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Rhona Mitra (The Loft)
Barbara New (The Picnic)
Emilio Rivera (Sons of Anarchy)
Paul Clayton (Wolf Hall)
Daniela Lavender (Tut)
Graham McTavish (King Arthur)

Ali G is the leader of Da West Staines Massiv, a fictional gang composed of wannabe gangsters from Staines; their chief rivals are Da East Staines Massiv. Da West Staines Massiv are heartbroken to learn that their beloved local leisure centre will be demolished by the local council, so they decide to protest. After he goes on a hunger strike and is spotted chained to some railings by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Deputy Prime Minister David Carlton, he is drawn into a world of political intrigue, as the Deputy Prime Minister tries to use Ali as a tool to destroy the Prime Minister’s credibility. Ali is put forward as a candidate to be the next MP for Staines and manages to alienate most who cross his path. During a debate with his rival candidate, Ali tries to insult his rival by claiming that he “sucked off a horse,” but the rival did do it and Ali wins.Out of his depth as a Member of Parliament, Ali’s bizarre behaviour and solutions seem to work. He visits a customs checkpoint in Dover, as a delegate compiling a report. Through ideas such as making more relatable education and ensuring the immigration of attractive women into the UK, Ali becomes incredibly popular, meeting the Prime Minister’s intentions and bringing his percentage lead in the polls up twenty two percent. With this the Prime Minister offers to save Ali’s leisure centre. Ali accompanies the Prime Minister to a United Nations peace conference to avert war between the French-speaking African nations of Chad and Burkina Faso. The United States and Russia back opposite countries and both threaten nuclear attacks. Ali sneaks into the catering area and puts a bag of marijuana into the delegates’ tea. A side-effect is that the two opposing presidents become allies. The Prime Minister says that Ali has saved the world. Carlton’s secretary Kate Hedges figures out what Ali has done and retrieves the empty bag, which she mails to the press. Upon his return to the UK, Ali is forced to leave parliament.Before the Leisure Centre can be saved, a video emerges of Ali and his girlfriend having sex in the Prime Minister’s bedroom at Chequers. As Ali was wearing items of the Prime Minister’s hat and coat at the time, the media believe the video details the Prime Minister with a prostitute, forcing his resignation. This results in Carlton being made Prime Minister. Carlton orders the destruction of the leisure centre. He has bought all available real estate in Staines knowing that the town will be destroyed to make way for a new terminal for Heathrow Airport, which will make him wealthy. The West Staines Massiv race to find the master copy of the CCTV tape proving the former Prime Minister’s innocence, extending the olive branch to the gangs of Staines and Berkshire to help them break into the vaults and retrieve the tape. They do this successfully and reinstate the original Prime Minister, save the leisure centre, and live happily ever after when Ali is posted as the British ambassador to Jamaica. Carlton is forced to work under Ali in Jamaica and dance with other people during Ali’s parties. Staines is saved from destruction, with the Prime Minister declaring that Slough is to be destroyed instead.Ali G Indahouse has got to be one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long time, and Cohen’s portrayal of a British gangsta is hilarious. This film has cult classic written all over it, and it features some really great lines. Ali G Indahouse is a good-time party movie that will leave the viewer laughing literally from beginning to end.

REVIEW: HUGO

CAST

Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Ben Kinglsey (Iron Man 3)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Ray Winston (Elfie Hopkins)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real Girl)
Helen McCrory (The Woman In Black 2)
Jude Law (Spy)
Michael Stuhlbarg (Men In Black 3)
Christopher Lee (The Hobbit)
Frances de la Tour (The Lady In The Van)
Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter)
Michael Pitt (Murder By Numbers)

In 1931, 12-year-old Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in Paris with his father (Jude Law), a widowed, but kind clockmaker who also works at a museum. One day his father finds a broken automaton, a mechanical man designed to write with a pen, at the museum, and he and Hugo try to repair it, his father documenting the automaton in a notebook. When his father is killed by a fire at the museum, Hugo is forced to live with his resentful, alcoholic uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), and made to learn how to maintain the clocks at the railway station of Gare Montparnasse. When Claude goes missing for several days, Hugo continues to maintain the clocks, fearing that he would be sent away as an orphan by the vindictive Station Inspector Gustave (Sacha Baron Cohen) if Claude’s absence is discovered. Hugo attempts to repair the automaton with stolen parts, believing it contains a message from his father, but the machine still requires a heart-shaped key that his father could not find.Hugo is caught when stealing from the toy store owner Georges (Ben Kingsley), who looks through his father’s notebook and threatens to destroy it. Hugo encounters Georges’ goddaughter Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz) who offers to help get the notebook back. Hugo learns Georges has forbidden Isabelle from going to the cinema, and introduces the medium to her as his father had done for him. As their friendship grows, he shows her the automaton, and is surprised when Isabelle inadvertently reveals she wears the key as a necklace given to her by Georges. When started, the machine draws out a scene that Hugo recognizes from his father’s description of the film A Trip to the Moon. Isabelle identifies the signature, that of a “Georges Méliès”, as her godfather. She sneaks Hugo into her home, where they find a hidden cache of more imaginative drawings of Méliès, but are caught by Georges, who banishes Hugo from his home.Hugo and Isabelle go to the Film Academy Library and find a book about the history of cinema that praises Méliès’ contributions. They meet the book’s author, René Tabard (Michael Stuhlbarg), a film expert who is surprised to hear that Méliès may still be alive, as he had disappeared after World War I along with nearly all copies of his films. Excited at the chance to meet him, René agrees to meet Isabelle and Hugo at Georges’ home to show his copy of A Trip to the Moon, hoping it will invigorate Georges. On the scheduled night, Georges’ wife Jeanne (Helen McCrory) tries to turn them away, but René compliments Jeanne as Jeanne d’Alcy, an actress in many of Méliès’ films, and she allows them to continue. As the film plays, Georges wakes up at the sight, and Jeanne finally convinces him to cherish his accomplishments rather than regret his lost dream. Georges recounts that as a stage magician, he had been fascinated by motion pictures and used the medium to create imaginative works through his Star Film Company, but was forced into bankruptcy following the War, closing his studio and selling his films to be turned into raw materials. He laments that even an automaton he made that he donated to a museum was lost. Hugo recognizes this is the same automaton he has, and races to the station to retrieve it. He is caught by Gustave, who has learned that Claude’s body was found some time ago, and threatens to take Hugo to the orphanage. Georges arrives and tells Gustave that he will now see to Hugo, adopting him as his son.Some time later, Georges is named a professor at the Film Academy, and is paid tribute through a showcase of his films recovered by René. Hugo joins in with his new family as they celebrate, while Isabelle starts to write down Hugo’s story.Martin Scorcese’s Hugo is one of the best cinematic experience, I’ve had in years.  The visual effects, cinematography, art direction, just technically superb. Finally a smart, awe-aspiring family film, which are really rare nowadays. A definite surprise coming from legendary director, Martin Scorcese, who’s known for movies with a lot of swears, violence, drugs and other adult-themed subjects.

REVIEW: ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (2016)

CAST

Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids)
Richard Armitage (The Hobbit)
Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes 2)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Barbara Windsor (Eastenders)
Timothy Spall (Vanilla Sky)
Matt Vogel (Muppets Most Wanted)
Hattie Morahan (Mr. Holmes)

Alice Kingsleigh has spent the past three years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London from China, she discovers that her ex-fiancé, Hamish Ascot, has taken over her father’s company and plans to have Alice sell him her father’s ship in exchange for her family home. Unable to make a choice, Alice runs away, and comes across her butterfly friend Absolem, who disappears through a mysterious mirror on one of the upstairs rooms, returning to Underland.
There, Alice is greeted by Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen, Nivens McTwisp, the White Rabbit, the Tweedles, Mallymkun, the Dormouse, Thackery Earwicket, the March Hare, Bayard, and the Cheshire Cat. They inform her that Tarrant Hightopp, the Mad Hatter is in poor health because his family is missing following the Attack of the Jabberwocky. The attack occurred shortly after his father, Zanik, a hat retailer, seemed to reject Tarrant’s gift of a hat creation.
The White Queen persuades Alice to convince Time himself to save the Mad Hatter’s family in the past, believing her to be the only one who can save the Hatter. However, she cautions Alice about time, and that if her past self sees her future self, everything will be history. As Alice sets out, she ends up in a dreary palace, where Time himself, a demigod that is part-human, part-clock, resides. As Alice tries to consult Time, she finds the Chronosphere, an object that powers all time in Underland and will allow her to travel to any time in the past.

Alice ignores Time’s warning that the past is unchangeable, and steals the Chronosphere, shortly after finding Iracebeth of Grims, the exiled Red Queen, in the care of Time. Alice accidentally flies to the day of Iracebeth’s coronation, where a younger Mad Hatter/Tarrant Hightopp mocks the Red Queen/Iracebeth of Crims when the royal crown doesn’t fit on her abnormally large head. This causes Iracebeth to melt down and her father deems her emotionally unqualified to rule and passes the title of queen to her younger sister, the White Queen/Mirana of Marmoreal.

Alice learns of an event in Iracebeth’s and Mirana’s past that caused friction between the two and travels back in time again, hoping it will change Iracebeth’s ways and stop the Jabberwocky from killing the Hatter’s family. She learns that the hat that the Mad Hatter thought his father threw away was actually treasured by him. Meanwhile, she meets the White Queen and the Red Queen as sisters. Mirana steals a tart from her mother and eats it. When confronted by their mother, Mirana lies about eating the tart, and Iracebeth is accused, causing her to run out of the castle. Alice sees that Iracebeth is about to run into a clock, thinking that’s the event that deforms her head and personality. Alice prevents that collision but fails to change the past, as Iracebeth trips and slams her head into a stone wall instead.

A weakened Time then confronts Alice after relentless searching, and scolds her for putting all of time in danger. Out of panic, Alice runs into a nearby mirror back in the real world, where she wakes up in a mental hospital, diagnosed with female hysteria. As Dr. Addison Bennett, a psychiatric doctor, tries to inject her with a sedative, she escapes and returns to Underland via the mirror, where she travels to the Attack of the Jabberwocky Day. Alice discovers that the Mad Hatter’s family was captured by the Red Queen instead and never died. Returning to the present however, Alice discovers that the Mad Hatter is on the brink of death.

Alice, close to tears, says that she believes him, and Tarrant transforms back to his normal self. The Underlandians go to the Red Queen’s new organic plant castle, where the Mad Hatter finds his family shrunk and trapped in an ant farm. However, the Red Queen apprehends them and steals the Chronosphere from Alice. Ignoring Time’s warning, she takes her sister back to the day she lied about the tart. By the time the Mad Hatter and Alice get there, the Red Queen and her younger self have seen each other. Time becomes irrelevant, and Underland begins to freeze in rust. At a powerless Time’s pleas, Alice and the Mad Hatter, using the Chronosphere race back to the present, where Alice places the Chronosphere in its original place in time.
With the Chronosphere stabilized, Underland reverts to normal. The Mad Hatter reunites with his family and the White Queen and the Red Queen make amends while Time forgives Alice for the trouble she caused. Alice bids farewell to her friends and returns to the real world through another mirror. She finds her mother is about to sign over Alice’s ship to Hamish. Her mother decides to support her daughter instead. Hamish gets the Kingsleigh family home but not the ship. Alice and her mother set out to travel the world together with their own shipping company.A wonderful follow up to the first film, with all your favorite characters returning for the adventure and some amazing new ones too. A film the whole family can enjoy.

 

REVIEW: TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY

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CAST

Will Ferrell (Elf)
John C. Reilly (Cyrus)
Sacha Baron COhen (Borat)
Michael Clarke Duncan (Sin City)
Leslie Bibb (Iron Man)
Gary Cole (Chuck)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Andy Richter (Run Ronnie Run)
David Koechner (American Dad)
Pat Hingle (Batman)
Molly Shannon (Scary Movie 4)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)

Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is a man who grows up dreaming of going fast. While working on the pit crew of Dennit Racing driver, Terry Cheveaux (Adam McKay), Bobby acts as a replacement driver after Terry decides to take a break while in last place. After starting in last place in place of Cheveaux, Bobby finishes in third place. Bobby becomes the new great in the NASCAR and gains fame and fortune at Dennit Racing. While racing, he meets his future wife, Carley (Leslie Bibb).
Bobby persuades Dennit Racing to sponsor an additional team car. Bobby arranges to have his best friend, Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly), on his team. While Bobby and Naughton succeed throughout competitions, their new teammate, French Formula One rival Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) is tough to beat. He outperforms them to become Dennit Racing’s latest success story. Desperate to dominate, Bobby exceeds his limitations and crashes at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which included his car rolling and flipping in the air.

While paramedics attempt to take him to the hospital, Bobby runs around on the track. Wearing only his helmet and underwear, Bobby insists he is on fire. During his recovery, Bobby believes he is paralyzed. After deliberately stabbing himself in the leg, he realizes that he is not. Now, Bobby is eager to rejoin the NASCAR circuit. Before a race at Rockingham Speedway, Bobby completed a test drive, but fear caused him to drive exceedingly slow. Bobby is fired from Dennit Racing and his pit crew now works for Girard. Jamie McMurray acts as Bobby’s replacement for the Wonder Bread car.
Desperate to remain wealthy, Carley divorces Bobby and marries Naughton. After accusing Naughton of ruining his life, Bobby ends their friendship. Ricky moves in with his mom, Lucy Bobby (Jane Lynch). Bobby’s two sons, Walker and Texas Ranger (Houston Tumlin and Grayson Russell), join him as he works as a pizza delivery man. After colliding with a shopping cart, Bobby loses his driver’s license and he is reduced to using a bicycle.While Bobby is not well, his father, Reese (Gary Cole), teaches him to drive with a live cougar in his car. After his father leaves, Bobby talks to his assistant and partner, Susan (Amy Adams), who persuades him to return to NASCAR, since it is in his nature to drive fast. After deciding to take Susan’s advice and race at the Talladega 500, Bobby and Susan become love interests. With the Talladega 500 on his mind, Bobby gathers a race car and pit crew. Before the race, Bobby makes amends with Carley, Girard and Naughton, while uniting with his pit crew chief and close friend, Lucius Washington (Michael Clarke Duncan). Bobby is forced to start in last place, after spare parts were donated to build the engine in Bobby’s new race car. At the start of the race, Bobby passes all of the drivers, except Girard. In the closing laps, Naughton uses a slingshot technique for Bobby to pass Girard.
The replacement driver of Bobby’s Wonder Bread car causes a massive wreck that causes all drivers to crash, excluding Bobby and Girard. On the final lap of the race, Bobby and Girard collide with each other and their race cars roll towards the finish line. Bobby and Girard exit their cars and run towards the finish line. In the background, “We Belong” by Pat Benatar is playing. Bobby wins the race, but he and Girard are disqualified for exiting their cars, so Naughton officially wins the Talladega 500. At the time of the first major crash, Naughton was in third place. Bobby, Naughton and Bobby’s extended family correct their differences after the Talladega 500.Talladega is more likable to its subject than a strict satire, because it firmly implants itself in the Nascar world and picks on its more absurd elements. In particular, the heavy emphasis on sponsorship in NASCAR takes a heavy beating with things like Ricky Bobby being contractually obligated to include Powerade in his grace. The ensemble of characters doesn’t produce that same energy that Anchorman had, but Talladega Nights did have some priceless bits of humor and it works just as well, perhaps even better, as a feel-good movie.

 

REVIEW: ALI G IN DA USA

CAST

Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)


Da Ali G Show star Sacha Baron Cohen, a chameleon who, masquerading as a series of absurd alter egos, conducts real interviews in which he volleys ridiculous questions at real-life luminaries who aren’t in on the joke.  Cohen’s remarkable series of guests includes Ralph Nader, Newt Gingrich, C. Everett Koop, Marlin Fitzwater, and James Baker, all of whom qualify as brilliant enough to rise to the top of their respective fields, but not quite savvy enough to see the satirist behind the façade. Da Ali G Show turns American luminaries into stooges, but Cohen disappears so effectively into his characters that it’s easy to see how they get duped.


Cohen also portrays Borat, a Kazakhstani reporter who runs roughshod over American taboos, and Bruno, an effeminate Austrian fashion reporter. Where the humor in Borat and Ali G’s segments draws from the gulf in awareness between the interviewer and the interviewee, the humor in Bruno’s pieces derives largely from the fashion world’s willingness to embrace the ridiculous fashion victim as one of its own. When Bruno refers to a fashion show’s glibly condescending “white trash” theme as being about “rubbish people,” a clueless fashionista burbles in agreement.

Da Ali G Show is both prototypical universal. Plenty of British exports get lost in translation, but the trip overseas has only sharpened the surreal culture clash at the heart of Cohen’s comedy.

REVIEW: GRIMSBY

CAST

Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat)
Mark Strong (John Carter)
Penelope Cruz (Zoolander 2)
Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids)
Isla Fisher (Scooby-Doo)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Rory Keenan (Reign of Fire)
Tamsin Egerton (Camelot)
Johnny Vegas (Ideal)
Ricky Tomlinson (The 51st State)
David Harewood (Supergirl)
Scott Adkins (The Legend of Hercules)
Ian McShane (Game of Thrones)

Nobby Butcher (Sacha Baron Cohen) has been separated from his brother Sebastian for 28 years. During the 28 year separation, Nobby has become alcoholic and has started his own life with his wife Dawn (Rebel Wilson) and 11 children in the poor English town of Grimsby.

Sebastian (now Sebastian Graves) has become one of MI6’s top agents. After completing an interrogation, Sebastian comes into information regarding philanthropist Rhonda George (Penélope Cruz), who is hosting a benefit called WorldCure and is a potential target for assassination, and is assigned to go. Nobby’s pub friends also find out that his brother will be at WorldCure and convince Nobby to go and reconnect with him. Sebastian goes to the event and sees a hitman, later known as Pavel Lukashenko (Scott Adkins), who plans to assassinate Rhonda with a gun disguised as a video camera. As Sebastian prepares to shoot the camera, Nobby sees him and gives him a hug, accidentally causing him to shoot a Jewish-Palestinian boy with AIDS. The spray of blood lands in Daniel Radcliffe’s mouth, giving him AIDS.

The brothers go on the run from the authorities and other assassins, with Sebastian breaking his ankle in the process. Despite Sebastian’s protests, Nobby convinces him it would be best to hide at his home in Grimsby. Meanwhile, MI6 believes that Sebastian has gone rogue. The MI6 send orders to an assassin named Chilcott (Sam Hazeldine) to track Sebastian down. However, Sebastian calls his handler Jodie and proclaims his innocence.

Chilcott and his men find the two brothers at a pub. Sebastian and Nobby spot them and run away with help from the pub clientele, but Sebastian is hit with two poison darts in the process. Nobby is forced to first suck the poison out of his brother’s chest and then his testicles to save him. The brothers travel to South Africa, after Jodie informs Sebastian that Lukashenko was doing a deal with Joris Smit (Nick Boraine) in Tshukaru Bush Lodge. Sebastian accidentally injects himself with heroin, mistaking it for the bone strengthening treatment for his broken ankle. Nobby must assume his identity and go undercover. Nobby tries to seduce Joris’s wife Lina, but first seduces the wrong woman and is then interrupted by Joris and his two men. Sebastian arrives and saves Nobby. Lina tells them that Lukashenko bought some sort of virus, but she is fatally shot by Chilcott and his men from a distance before she gives any further information. To outrun Chilcott’s men, the brothers hide inside an elephant’s vagina, but in the process they become trapped inside after a male elephant begins having sexual intercourse with it. As they wash off afterwards, Sebastian asks why Nobby abandoned him as a child. Nobby explains that Sebastian’s adoptive parents only wanted to adopt one of the brothers but were unable to decide, and he ran away so Sebastian could have a better life.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2708409.main_image.jpgThe two brothers travel to Santiago, Chile. They realize that the syndicate plans to unleash their weapon upon a football match in the area, but the syndicate captures Sebastian. Rhonda visits the captured Sebastian and tells him her plans to launch the virus—called WorldCure—into the arena via fireworks. Nobby finally finds Sebastian, but he is intercepted by Lukashenko. Lukashenko overpowers Nobby, but he obtains Lukashenko’s gun and shoots him in the head. He easily kills the other henchmen before rescuing Sebastian.

The brothers go back to the arena and spot Rhonda. While Nobby tries to intercept Rhonda, Chilcott attempts to kill Sebastian, but Nobby’s kids throw a wheelchair at him, knocking him over and impaling on a helmet. Nobby obtains a gun and spotted Rhonda running through the arena. He goes after her. In the meantime, Raheem Sterling in the final match between England and Germany attempts a shot from a distance, however, the shot was going wide. Nobby shot the ball and it conveniently deflected into the goal. Nobby also shot the referee who’s going to disallow the goal, resulting in England winning the match. Nobby then tries to shoot Rhonda but his gun jams and he realizes he must stop the fireworks himself. He sits on one of the fireworks containing the virus; Sebastian sits on the other at the last minute, reaffirming his brotherhood with Nobby. The fireworks go off with the two atop them and the brothers are knocked unconscious upon landing. Nobby’s gun goes off and hits Daniel Radcliffe, whose infectious blood spills onto Donald Trump’s mouth.
 It is reported that Rhonda is arrested, the Graves brothers “died” after saving the world, and Donald Trump has AIDS. The brothers are actually recovering in the hospital. Jodie visits and gives them new identities, informing them that the virus did not affect them because its antidote is elephant semen. Nobby’s family also visits them. In the final scene, eight weeks later, Nobby and Sebastian are on a mission in Jakarta, Indonesia. On a boat, Nobby is approached by a team of gunmen, who he quickly kills. He reaches Sebastian, who asks him if he’s met the team; Nobby realizes too late that the gunmen were his team. In a post credit scene the brothers are in a car and stop to ask a man for directions to the stadium, after receiving directions Nobby shoots the man saying ‘leave no witnesses’ disturbing Sebastian.Grimsby also known as The Brothers Grimsby in America. This is one of the best comedy  movies released and definitely worthy of repeat viewings if you’re a fan of this type of comedy, and especially if you appreciate Sacha Baron Cohen’s brand of humor.